Gift Guide: Father’s Day 2016

All Dad wants to do is drink good booze, read about some booze, and he doesn’t want rose gold barware. And maybe a steak. Actually, yes, grill him a steak too.

Father's Day Gift Guide 2016 // stirandstrain.com

Want to surprise Dad with something new? Well, how about the best American Brandy sampler you need in your liquor cabinet right now? And don’t try and slip in some chintzy jigger you scored at the airport on the way to see him. Cocktail Kingdom now has gunmetal black bar tools: the manliest of the manly. Oh but he’s that manly? Well, just get him an Opinel knife. You can zest, cut, and I don’t know what else with this knife…cut down a tree to make a barrel? Books? Yes, Dad wants books. About booze.

1. Whiskey: A Spirited Story with 75 Classic and Original Cocktails 2. Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki 3. Leopold Jigger 4. Koriko Hawthorne Strainer 5. Japanese Style Jigger 6. Opinel Blue Knife 7. Copper & Kings American Brandy Sampler 3 Pack: American Craft Brandy, Butchertown Brandy, and Un-Aged Apple Brandy

Gift Guide: Giddy Up! (Kentucky Derby Time!)

One week from tomorrow it’s OK to carry around a riding crop and wear a helmut in public. Be prepared. Get bourbon.

Gift Guide: Kentucky Derby 2016 // stirandstrain.com

Leave those tiny silver cups at home, we’re feeding a crowd. And by feeding I mean drinking a giant silver punch bowl filled with Mint Juleps. So get your Maker’s Mark, and a commercial ice crusher, and if you have the time, grow some mint! Or, you could just fake it and add in some mint simple instead. Stir it all up with some wild horses, and please, gentlemen, use a napkin.

1. Feeling giddy napkin 2. Grow your own mint plants 3. Triple Crown Napkins 4. Gold Horse Drink Stirrers 5. Maker’s Mark Bourbon American Pharoah Commemorative Bottle (available May 1st!) 6. Mint Julep Simple Syrup 7. Commerical Ice Crusher 8. Silver Vintage Punch Bowl

Small Space Home Bar

Tight on space? One does not need to call in the team at Hometime to knock down some walls and put in plumbing just so you can use your fancy glasses come cocktail hour. Craft a home bar for a small space with a handful of useful, and, obviously, fun pieces.

Small Space Home Bar Gift Guide // stirandstrain.com

You’re drinking in the living room/home office/kitchen and chances are you’ll need a table there. But what if it was also your bar? And inside the glasses doubled as measuring cups and you had ONE tool that did just about everything? No room for full bottles? That’s what the half bottles are for; you can store those anywhere. Your ice bucket can also double as a storage vessel when not in use: bonus if it looks like a work of art (your friends won’t know the difference). And all those beer bottles? Hang ’em up out of the way. Just be mindful when doing cartwheels after a couple Daiquiris.

1. Table/Mini Bar 2. Mini Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut 3. Mini Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut 4. Bottleloft 5. Barspoon/Cocktail Pick 6. Ice Bucket 7. Measured Bar Glasses 8. Barbarian Bar Tool

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2015

…Because nothing says I love you more than beating a brightly colored donkey until booze falls out of it.

Valentines Day Gift Guide 2015 // stirandstrain.com

Are you having that oh crap moment where you just remembered you need to buy some meaningless gift for someone by Saturday? Well, if you miss the date, make up for it with something so amazing they’ll totally forget they might dump you come Tuesday. A sexy bottle of Absinthe perhaps? What about a slightly sexualized cocktail shaker? And if you get to smooching, coat your lips in some Old Fashioned-flavored lip balm. If all else fails, gather up your friends and spend your hard earned cash on a gilded mid-century ice bucket. You deserve it.

1. Plum Cocktail Shaker 2. Mod Ice Bucket 3. Nipyata Donkey 4. Absinthe 5. Whiskey After-Shave 6. Tiki and Old Fashioned Lip Balms 7. Antique Coupes

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Holiday Gift Guide: What I Want, Too

While I seem to be spending all my time lately helping you figure out what YOU should be getting this holiday season, I only see it as fair that I share what I want too.

What I Want for Christmas // stirandstrain.com

Give me a little pop of color for when I’m by the pool; I don’t mind acrylic if it means all day cocktailing and never leaving my giant lime wheel float. But when I want to get fancy, I’ll need that stack of champagne coupes and, albeit it predictably so, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Also, a place to perch myself please, with some shiny bar tools nearby and some personalized drink stirrers so I know which drink is mine. And if Santa’s feeling extra generous, that Cartier Punch Bowl set looks might fine.

1. Lime Wheel Float 2. Personalized Drink Stirrers 3. Coupe Stack Glasses 4. Veuve Clicquot 5. Acrylic Goblets 6. Flamingo Cocktail Napkins 7. Rattan Chair 8. Copper Shaker 9. Antique Cartier Punch Bowl Set

 

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Holiday Gift Guide: You High Roller You…

So you’re a high roller. A baller. Actually, I don’t really understand what any of that means. But if you just won in big in Vegas and have gobs of cash to spend decorating your home bar, let me help. Also, did you know I make drinks for hire? Let’s chat.

Holiday Gift Guide: The High Roller // stirandstrain.com

You can buy yourself a brand new pair of lungs; lucky you. Let’s put that ash out on a Hermes ashtray then while you are sipping on the ridiculously expensive Dalmore 62 you just grabbed from your crystal desktop bar. Unless of course your butler just pushed in your 70’s vintage bar cart with some bubbly ready to pop. And when you’re ready to head out the door and mix up some drinks for friends…well, you have that well crafted bar bag ready at hand.

1. Waterford Crystal Tabletop Bar 2. Armand de Brignac Brut Champagne 3. Tiffany Cocktail Glasses 4. Hermes Ashtray 5. Dalmore 62 6. Bartender Bag 7. Bar Cart

 

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Holiday Gift Guide: It’s a Jungle Out There

When nature calls…be sure you have a drink in hand.

It's a Jungle Out There Holiday Gift Guide 2014 // stirandstrain.com

Life is hard. Especially when you have a monkey on your back (er…shoulder). But with a solid recipe book, a glass to drink from and a zebra striped shaker, you can face the wild world with confidence, albeit 3 sheets to the wind.

1. Flamingo Glass 2. Sippin’ Safari 3. Fish Napkins 4. Snake Coasters 5. Zebra Cocktail Shaker 6. Elephant Bottle Opener 7. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch

Holiday Gift Guide: Have Booze Will Travel

It’s that time of year! The time for gift guides! And this year we’re kicking off the holiday season with the best ways to transport your booze, your booze tools and whatever else you need to take your bar on the road.

Have Booze Will Travel Holiday Gift Guide 2014 // stirandstrain.com

On a plane, or a train, or maybe even a lazy river, you never know where you’ll be when the need to make a cocktail strikes. Keep some nips on you at all times, and throw some extra in your bar case. On a plane? Well, don’t leave it to the crew to make you a drink, you know how you like your Old Fashioned.  Don’t chance breaking some bottles while riding the subway- just pour your booze into a bag. Or if you must be fancy, pour a bit into your keychain shot glass. And when you do find yourself on a lazy river, there’s a cooler for that.

1. Carry On Cocktail Kit 2. Vapur Incognito Flask 3. Bartender Bag 4. Keychain Shot Glass 5. Nips 6. Floating Cooler 7. Copper Cocktail Cups

Check out all the past gift guides here!

Patriotic Bar Cart Gift Guide

For all of my non-US readers, if you’ll allow me a moment to indulge in a little red, white, and blue bar cart accessorizing I’d super appreciate it. And while together it’s a Patriotic Bar Cart fiesta, taken piece by piece they could work in your home too.

Patriotic Bar Cart Gift Guide // stirandstrain.com

 

In a little less than a week, my neighborhood will be filled with illegal fireworks, barking dogs and the inescapable wafting aromas of food being grilled. It will also be filled with drinking galore. For those of you outside the city of Los Angeles, I’m sure you picture every day here like this (sometimes I’d agree with you), but next Friday in particular the country bands together to show our love of hotdogs and beer (and maybe something to do with history but you can turn on C-Span for that). For those of you hosting a party, here’s a little guide to up your bar cart game for the 4th. Buckets of crushed ice, colorful drink accouterments, and some fine liquor selections. Now go get some sparklers and confetti poppers!

1. Ice Crusher 2. Tumbler 3. Campari 4. Clase Azul Reposado Tequila 5. Bombay Sapphire East 6. Blue Straws 7. Hayworth Bar Cart 8. Red Foil Picks

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2014

My dad will probably get a phone call with an uncertain promise of “it’s in the mail” next week. But you don’t have to be that person! Here’s a roundup of some rugged cocktail accessories Dad might like.

Father's Day Gift Guide 2014 // stirandstrain.com

 

Dad’s can always use some updated bar tools. And if your Dad is into wine, then a leather pouch to discretely put that wine opener might be much appreciated. Let him get DIY with making his beer, and then he might even want to cook with it! And if all else fails, buy him some scotch and immortalize him as his favorite drink.

1. Traveling bar kit 2. The Craft Beer Cookbook 3. Brass bottle opener 4. Homebrew beer making kit 5. Jumbo Cocktail Shaker 6. Ardbeg Islay Single Malt Scotch 7. Drinkify Me! 8. Leather wine opener pouch